New device detects bacterial meningitis in babies in seconds using ultrasound

A new device enables physicians to diagnose bacterial meningitis in babies by performing a high-resolution ultrasound on the fontanelle, or "soft spot" on a baby's head, providing a valuable alternative to painful and difficult-to-perform lumbar punctures.

The portable ultrasound device obtains a high-resolution image of the area where cerebrospinal fluid is stored and can determine the presence of cells indicating infection within seconds.

"It not only provides the doctor with an image, but information about the presence or absence of cells in the cerebrospinal fluid," Carlos Castro, contributing author of the study, said in a statement. "This means it can be used without having to undergo specialized training, and as it is portable, it can be made available to any intensive care or accident and emergency unit and observation or hospital room."

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